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Portsmouth Grammar/ Portsmouth High

(40 Posts)
toastedmarshmallow Tue 18-Nov-14 13:28:16

Does anyone have personal experience of either of these schools?

We are considering them for our DD. She is currently year 5. I'm planning to go to open days,etc. but want some inside info if possible not just all the marketing. I don't know anyone whose children go as we're a little outside of the area.

sailorsgal Tue 18-Nov-14 19:06:37

PGS has always had a good reputation though a friend chose St John's instead which they are very happy with. The Grammar apparently only wants the very bright and its very pushy. There would be an entrance exam I presume. The fees seem very attractive particularly for secondary. grin

toastedmarshmallow Tue 18-Nov-14 22:44:14

I did get the impression that PGS was quite pushy. PGS seemed tho have more of an emphasis on pastoral care.There is an entrance exam for both schools. We would be trying for a bursary so dd would have to do very well. There is no way we could afford it without a bursary, even though the fees for both schools are not as expensive as some.

DD is very confident and resilient at the moment. I'm hoping that she won't be too upset if she doesn't get in. At the moment we're talking about it as it would be nice but not a big deal, she hasn't seen either of the schools yet. Sports facilities and friends are her priorities!

toastedmarshmallow Tue 18-Nov-14 22:45:37

'PHS seemed to' the second sentence should read!

Dancingqueen17 Wed 19-Nov-14 10:39:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

toastedmarshmallow Wed 19-Nov-14 10:48:44

Why would it be struggling dancinqueen? Anything to be concerned about?

Our do you mean it would be easier to get a bursary?

toastedmarshmallow Wed 19-Nov-14 10:49:23

Results seem to be similar at both schools.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 19-Nov-14 22:07:08

I went to PHS many many years ago when it was a lot bigger. I went back 2 years ago to talk to pupils about jobs and whilst I was shocked at how much smaller it was (in the senior school we had 90 in a year and now I think it is more like 20 or something although I don't know any actual figures)

I still really liked it. I would love to send my children but we aren't local and we don't have the money.

PHS has always had very high academic standards, no different to PGS for that and always had very similar good results too BUT I think it has generally been seen as more nurturing whilst PGS is in my opinion a bit more traditional public school.

I haven't heard anything about them struggling for numbers, they are smaller than PGS but I think they have turned that to their advantage in that they can now offer even more of the nurturing environment. Certainly the girls I met when I went back were confident and I felt that they were more in charge of their choices and learning than we had had the opportunity to be when I was there.

Not sure I can help any more but happy for you to PM me if you want.

ZanyMobster Thu 20-Nov-14 14:37:32

Personally if I had to choose between the 2 schools it would be PHS, the pastoral care is excellent and from several of my friends experience it is an all round lovely school. I have boys so not an option for me.

I know several parents at PGS and the quality of the education is excellent but they are extremely pushy/selective and also I do not like how many of the children and parents behave (even my friends whos children go there feel the same, it can be unpleasant if I am honest), we had the choice of the 3 local independent schools (that take boys) and we decided against PGS completely. Both boys are very academic but we did not like the feel of it at all. Amazing facilities though. The school the boys go to is fabulous and we definitely believe we made the right decision.

Definitely go to both open days with your DD and see what you think. Both schools have brilliant results so it really will depend on the right fit for you both.

toastedmarshmallow Thu 20-Nov-14 17:43:07

Thanks for your opinions nonicknames and zany. Are there other schools in the area that are worth considering as well? We would be about a 40 min commute from PHS and 50 from PGS.

Where we live has one decent state secondary and one decent private so want to widen our choice.

sailorsgal Thu 20-Nov-14 18:08:06

that is some commute. I used to do a school run from Hayling Island. Sometimes it was gridlock coming out of the city.
Also what about local friends? ds is at a prep school ten minutes away but friends are far and wide.

EatSleepRaveRepeat Thu 20-Nov-14 18:09:46

I have friends with Dc's at Meoncross in Stubbington that is small family school they seem to love it .
I also have another friend that has a DC in St John's Portsmouth they are only year 2 or 3 but love the school so far . HTH

ZanyMobster Thu 20-Nov-14 21:58:00

Both St John's and Mayville are lovely schools, not as academic but good results considering they are non selective and amazing pastoral care at both but to be honest I would imagine there must be similar schools nearer you like those. Both schools have children travelling for around the same distance as you would be.

LittleBearPad Thu 20-Nov-14 22:01:16

Getting on and off Portsmouth at the beginning and end of the day is no fun, especially with a 40/50 mins journey. Which side of the Island are you coming from.

Back in the dim and distant past I went to pgs but too long ago I think to comment helpfully.

toastedmarshmallow Thu 20-Nov-14 22:19:36

I meant a 40/50 min journey in total (I hope), we live about 10/15 min drive from Ryde.

I am a bit concerned about friends being too far away of she does go to a Portsmouth school. She has a lot of local friends.

I want to make sure I seriously consider all possibilities, I would hate to make the wrong choice. This is far more stressful than choosing a primary school!

Sidge Thu 20-Nov-14 22:31:43

I have friends with children at PGS and Ryde, as well as Meoncross and Wykeham House.

They're all happy and doing well. PGS is rather, umm, high pressure. The others are a bit more laid back.

BitterHoneyGreenNight Thu 20-Nov-14 22:34:58

PGS is quite high pressured. They get good results but students who don't meet their standards are asked to leave. His academic is your DD?

sailorsgal Thu 20-Nov-14 22:44:33

Also schools vary on the amount of bursary offered. I asked PGS if they offered a military discount and they said no. Cheeky I know but I was a bit shocked as it's Pompey and a naval town.

toastedmarshmallow Thu 20-Nov-14 22:55:44

DD bright but not academically gifted, she has to work. L5 rather than 6 next year probably.

The more I hear about how high pressure PGS is the more concerned I feel it might not be right for DD. We'll go and have a look though. I'll look into the other schools mentioned as well thanks.

ZanyMobster Fri 21-Nov-14 07:07:27

I am fairly certain Mayville and St John's do pick ups from the Iow ferry, don't know about the others but I expect they do.

TalkinPeace Sat 22-Nov-14 18:01:50

PHS is a GDST school. I'm surprised to hear its numbers are low TBH.

I feel for you, the Island schools are not in a good place at the moment.

heritagewarrior Sat 22-Nov-14 18:22:03

I went to PHS and it was excellent for me. If I hadn't been there, I wouldn't have the career I have. My brother went to St. John's and has had a glittering academic and professional career, but he is very bright and I suspect he would have done well anywhere. PGS has always had a bit of a reputation as an exam factory and for turning out alumnae with arrogant and entitled attitudes, but obviously that's a massive and sweeping generalisation. However, I do live very near PGS, and, when you meet them in the street, I think it would be fair to say that their current student body are not the most well-mannered bunch of young people I've ever come across.....

ZanyMobster Sat 22-Nov-14 20:18:42

heritagewarrior - you have posted exactly what I wanted to say about PGS's reputation but I had no idea how to word it.

heritagewarrior Sat 22-Nov-14 22:06:21


toastedmarshmallow Sun 23-Nov-14 09:22:35

Thanks for all your opinions. I like the look of St John's as well, seems similar to Ryde though, will have to visit to see if enough differences to make the journey worth it.

Mayville isn't for us, I'd like a school with a sixth form.

The fact that PHS is GDST appeals. Lots of my friends at uni had been to these schools and they were lovely well rounded people. DD very sporty, not sure how good their provision is.

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